a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial

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Technical solutions


The Polynational War Memorial will not be a site where a fixed number of historical events are represented. The Memorial will expand and transform as new wars start and end.

Because of the large number of names that will be on display, a digital solution was chosen to guarantee maximal flexibility and updatability. The names are shown on the surfaces of the monument and will, literally speaking, be made of light, since it will be constructed of a large number of digital screens of thin film (as in existing OLED screens).

The names are stored in a central database at the Research Department of the University, which is updated daily as new names are confirmed by governments and their military branches. Data is also collected from non-governmental and paramilitary organisations, and from individuals.

The research department processes the data, and outputs the names on the memorial´s displays. The data will also be available at the visitor centres, and info-kiosks, where it will be used to give directions to specific sections of the Memorial. It is also available for users over the internet.

The digital solution offers many options that would not be possible with a memorial made of stone or concrete. The database could, for example, output the names of people killed in a specific conflict at a ceremonial section of the memorial. The system could be set to show the names in arabic, cirrylic or chinese. The data could be sorted in various ways. Visitors could register their presence at the visitor centre and the name that they are there to honour, which will appear in a special section of the Memorial.


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The illustration presents the flow of data about casualties in war from the external agents through the Polynational War Memorials internal agents and to the public sphere of the physical memorial.

In reality the flow of data suould be bi-directional in all of these phases. Internet users may supply verifyable information directly to the data collectors, who in turn can pass that information on to an external partner.



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